4 Things You Should Be Testing But Probably Aren’t

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I remember when I first deadlifted a barbell.

Before that moment, I hesitated to pick up the 12.5lb dumbbells at bootcamp classes. So when I heard the barbell is 20kg (44.4 pounds) without plates on it, you can imagine how terrified I was.

As I walked up to the platform, bullets of sweat were rolling down my face…and I hadn’t even lifted the thing yet.

Then, all these thoughts ran through my head: What if I drop the bar on my feet? What if I fall over and hurt myself? What if I all of a sudden get insanely jacked?

It sounds silly looking back at it now, but at the time–they were totally justified fears.

That was less than a year ago. Recently, I hit a personal record of 145lbs on my deadlift–that’s 30lbs heavier than I am!

As I sipped on a celebratory protein shake, I already started thinking of ways I could beat 145lbs, and get a new personal record.

You see, powerlifting and split testing are similar in that way. Once I establish a control, I focus on how I can beat it. Personally, I’m addicted to finding messages that bring in more sales.

That’s because when the sales page is launched and bringing in sales, my time isn’t over. We don’t set it on autopilot and expect sales to increase by itself.

Because in reality, sometimes your sales will decline after your working offer has been out for a while. And you may not know why.

Take it from Brian Kurtz: “The control is your enemy.” Which means, the moment you have a new control, it’s time to start thinking of ways to beat it.

I’m about to show you 4 areas in your funnel to test–4 places where your funnel could be leaking the most. And if you prioritize these 4 areas for testing, you’ll avoid useless tests that don’t move the needle (like different button colors). 

By the end of this post, you’ll have so many money-making ideas you can test right away…and watch the sales roll in.

Funnel Leak #1: Your Checkout Sequence

It happens all the time.

You’ve decided to purchase a product…you choose your shipping method…then, you get a text message. Or a Facebook notification from your best friend. Or an email from your customer. All of a sudden, the last thing on your mind is purchasing that product…and you abandon your cart like you ditch a bad date at a bar.

This happens all the time online, and your website is no exception.

So if you’ve never run a test before, the best place to start is at the very END of your funnel. That’s because if people are making it to the end of your funnel, but not purchasing–that means this group is highly interested in your product.

The thing about online checkouts is there is no human there to guide them through the process. Which means, purchasing a product needs to be as easy and smooth as possible.

So what if only a tiny percentage of people are completing your checkout?

I’ve seen tests where making the checkout sequence longer resulted in more orders completed. There’s also the opposite–where companies shortened their checkout.

Or, maybe your order form should be broken up into more steps, or payment information needs to be sooner, or maybe it’s the promo code box location. There are endless possibilities here.

If you have the ability to test different checkouts, and as long as you’re tracking completed orders for the test, you’re in a great position to squeeze out more sales.  

Funnel Leak #2: The Big Bad Offer

Are people landing on your sales page, but not entering checkout?

It could be your offer, or it could be your lead-in copy. For the sake of starting from the end of the funnel, let’s talk about testing your offer.

Remember Brian Kurtz’ 40/40/20 rule of conversion:

40% success is determined by the list or traffic source

40% is in the offer

20% comes from the copy  

Assuming your list and traffic are already optimized, the offer carries a heavy weight for your conversions.  

So that begs the question: Does your offer get people to pull out their credit cards? Is your price the right price? Maybe you haven’t anchored your price before presenting your offer. Whatever your case may be, if you’re not getting as many sales–the opportunity could be in the offer itself.

Funnel Leak #3: Headlines and leads

Maybe you already have validation that your offer is performing as solid as it could.

So, what if people are landing on your sales page, and not even making it to the offer? What if you’re losing them in your lead?

It could very well be that your sales page headline and/or lead isn’t holding their attention. After all, 80% of a sales pages’ success is determined by the headline and lead.

So rather than testing an entirely different sales page (and because you’ve already tested your offer separately!), test the headline and/or lead. You don’t want to test the offer at the same time–otherwise, you don’t know if the new offer or the new lead is responsible for the results.

Your current lead could be hitting the wrong emotion, or maybe your big idea isn’t compelling visitors to keep reading. Or, maybe a VSL is a better lead than text alone.

The point is, if this part of the sales page isn’t optimized, you’re losing people before they even see the offer. Which means you’re missing out on a lot of revenue.

Depending on your sales page, testing the headline alone can be a quick (yet huge) win. If you can’t test your checkout funnel and you’re happy with your offer…this is where I recommend testing first.

I ran a couple headline tests at Kissmetrics and saw some major gains in conversions from the headline alone–127% with 99% significance. Didn’t change anything else BUT the headline. So that’s how I knew the headline carried a lot of weight on that page.

Funnel Leak #4: Ad copy

Are people even landing on your sales page?

Assuming there are no funnel leaks in your lead, offer, and checkout…your priority here is to get as much traffic to the page as possible.

And if you’re spending thousands a month on Facebook, YouTube, Google Adwords traffic, testing ad copy stops you from throwing money down the drain and turning on your garbage disposal.  

I’ve tested ads where curiosity resulted in the highest conversions for that product. I’ve also tested ads directly stating the offer and they outperformed. All depends on who the audience is!

Luckily, this part is easy. Generally speaking, ad networks make it easy for you to test different ads.

However, a common pitfall is only tracking clicks on the ad. What matters more to you–clicks, or sales?

So if you’re testing ad copy, track sales AND clicks for each test.

Bonus: How to K.O. your competitors with split testing

Winning tests don’t happen by accident. So how do you take a test idea, turn it into a big win?

It’s not as complicated as you may think. Yet, even champion direct response marketers make tiny mistakes that tampers results and time invested.

I’ve boiled it all down to a simple system in The Rocky Balboa Guide to A/B Testing: The 5-Part Training Program to KO Your Competitors (even if you’re the underdog like Rocky).

Click here to get your copy of this free report to find big conversion wins in your sales funnel…and win that revenue championship belt.

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Allison Carpio
Allison Carpio
Allison writes sales copy and runs A/B split tests. As the former copywriter at Kissmetrics, she wrote and tested landing page copy that brought in 163%-507% lifts in conversions. You can find her at allisoncarpio.com.
Showing 4 comments
  • Jody Raynsford
    Reply

    What a great article Allison – and it’s exactly what I need right now. It’s pretty good to have this knowledge in your back pocket when talking to clients too.

    And thanks for the stand-out lead magnet. Love Rocky!

  • Tim Woo
    Reply

    Wow, as a marketing automation specialist, I should be knowing more about what tests to start experimenting with. Luckily, I don’t get as caught about button colors, but definitely a bigger picture to take away here.
    Time for me to go suggest some new split tests for my clients =) You earned yourself a subscriber!

  • Kevin Rogers
    Reply

    Great article, Allison! You’re on FIRE.

  • Jesse Stoddard
    Reply

    Great article. Thanks!

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